1 x 2-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
Enrolment not permitted
HIST2037 has been successfully completed
Assignment(s), test(s), tutorial participation
Topic description

This topic looks at the background to key moments in modern times. It also introduces students to some of the methods of history. It uses the idea of 'turning points' - critical junctures in history - to study long-term and short-term causes, context and sudden shocks to historical continuity. It employs film and contemporary archives to illustrate evolutionary and revolutionary change. It helps students to understand the origins of the modern world. It is especially designed for students who have not studied history before.

Turning points studied in the topic recently have included the atomic bomb, the French Revolution, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Pill.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Examine a number of 'great events' in history and, through that examination, introduce students to the study of history
  • Evaluate the comparative significance of these events and issues, with particular emphasis on assessing and ranking causes and consequences over time. Students will therefore be applying knowledge and connecting across boundaries, as well as learning how to communicate effectively
  • Understand the different foundations of historical knowledge and to learn how to differentiate between them, through a variety of exercises involving both collaborative research and independent learning
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Discuss the events in question
  2. Identify and critically examine the historical debates regarding the events
  3. Apply critical and comparative thinking to develop a coherent argument about the events, especially about the relative usefulness of the notion of 'turning points' in history
  4. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication
  5. Demonstrate effective use of libraries and other sources for research